Universal Cancels 'The Hunt' Release After Mass Shootings, Political Controversy, And Uproar

It hasn't even been two weeks since Universal Pictures released the first trailer for the satirical action thriller The Hunt, but the studio has decided to scrap the release of the movie starring Betty Gilpin and Hilary Swank after a series of mass shootings, political controversy and uproar surrounding the premise of the series. Find out more about The Hunt movie release canceled by Universal below.

Universal Pictures released an official statement announcing the canceled release of The Hunt, which comes after the studio decided to halt the marketing campaign leading up to the film's previous release date of September 27, 2019:

"While Universal Pictures had already paused the marketing campaign for The Hunt, after thoughtful consideration, the studio has decided to cancel our plans to release the film. We stand by our filmmakers and will continue to distribute films in partnership with bold and visionary creators, like those associated with this satirical social thriller, but we understand that now is not the right time to release this film."

The controversy surrounding this film came from the film's logline, which follows a group of elite liberals who are hunting down a group of people from conservative red states referred to as "deplorables" in the film's script. In recent days, outlets like Fox News came down on the movie, prompting Donald Trump to angrily tweet about it too. And it doesn't help that this violent movie, , though satirical, comes after the deadly mass shoitings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.

What's most frustrating about this is that the movie directed by Craig Zobel and written by Damon Lindelof and Nick Cuse has suddenly been used as a political weapon, somehow illustrating that liberals just want to inflict violence on conservatives. What they don't realize is that the so-called "deplorables" in this movie are meant to be the protagonists. Even though the official synopsis avoids mentioning any political ideologies, it's clear that those being hunted turn the tables on the hunters:

"Twelve strangers wake up in a clearing. They don't know where they are, or how they got there. They don't know they've been chosen... for a very specific purpose ... The Hunt.

In the shadow of a dark internet conspiracy theory, a bunch of elites gathers for the very first time at a remote Manor House to hunt humans for sport. But the elites' master plan is about to be derailed because one of the hunted, Crystal (Betty Gilpin, GLOW), knows The Hunters' game better than they do. She turns the tables on the killers, picking them off, one by one, as she makes her way toward the mysterious woman (two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank) at the center of it all."

Regardless of the political controversy stirred up over this movie, the time is still simply not wise to market a movie that contains so much gun violence, so this is a smart move by Universal in that regard. Another studio source (via The Hollywood Reporter) said:

"This was a decision that the studio came to with The Hunt filmmaking team, but ultimately it was about making the right decision, right now. It was a tough call for the company, but studio leadership, led by Donna Langley, all agreed that this film could wait."

As of now there's no word on when The Hunt might get released in theaters or if it will end up going straight to video.